Is this kosher? (Voting registration oddness - not Jewish.)

I needed to get my voter’s registration application in yesterday, and looking online, found that you could drop them off at Driver’s License facilities.

Hey, I thought, I need to renew my license before November, anyhow, so I’ll just go do both!

Get there, and the guy in front of me wants to register to vote. Nope, he’s told - he can only register to vote if he’s doing license or ID related business as well. If he just wants to register to vote, he can try a library or a polling place, he was told. Next up, me, for renewal and registration to vote, no problem, here’s your number, sit there, $10 at the end for the license, they’ll register you to vote at the same time.

While I’m waiting, I hear several other people come in wanting to register to vote. Nope, they’re told, only if you’re doing something with your license or ID also. And then the weird part: the woman working the front desk suggests that maybe they want to get a replacement license or ID? Or change their height or weight? Or is their address current? All of these, of course, would result in “something with their license” enabling them to register to vote, but all of them cost money to have done.

So this feels weird to me. It feels like the DMV was basically extorting money out of people in order to let them register to vote, when the Board of Elections’ website said they could come here to register to vote - and registering to vote is free.

Am I crazy?

Nope, sounds fishy to me, too. I mean, I GUESS they might have that policy so that paying customers don’t have to wait longer, or that they don’t have the staff to accomodate it, so the policy is to try to steer people somewhere else to register. But it sounds more like a moneymaking scheme, to me.

My guess is that DMV management doesn’t want to have to provide staff only for something that’s not their responsibility.

That’s a separate issue. :wink:

No, you’re not crazy. Which facility did you go to? This sounds like bullshit.

If you hadn’t had to do it by yesterday, I would have hooked you up with my mom, the deputy registrar.

I think it was only $5 to change my license back in May, though - I realize I’m not broke, but I’d think most people would be willing to pay the $5 just to avoid having to go somewhere else and stand in another line.

I just renewed my license on Monday, and registered to vote (new address) at the same time.

Registering to vote involved checking and signing an additional box on the same form that is used to renew the license. So if the DMV was accepting voter registrations without any othe DMV business, not only would they have to have the desk staff, they would also have to have someone entering all the paperwork.

Uh, I’d be annoyed if I was going to the DMV to do real car stuff and there was a whole line of people there only trying to register to vote because they waited too late or whatever. I have a limited time to go to the DMV and very little patience, and our DMV is BUSY.

This sounds pretty standard, to me. It’s offered as a convenience to those who have other business at the DOL, but it’s not their primary task.

However, I think the advertising on the voter registration website is misleading. An extra couple of words would clear up a lot of confusion.

Voter registration isn’t the library’s primary task, either.

Niles, the one out on Golf Road.

It wasn’t super busy. I didn’t make it in until 4:45 (Gah, I know, but people were driving down Golf like that little rainstorm was a monsoon or something! I left home just after 4!) and I was out of there by 5:45.

Of course, I forgot to bring a book, so I had a whole hour to sit there listening to the front counter lady and arranging my tinfoil hat just so. :smiley:

I agree. Elsewhere on the Illinois State Board of Elections site linked to in the OP is a PDF brochure called “Registering to Vote in Illinois (pamphlet)”. It lists the places where you can register to vote, including:
When applying for service at the following:
Driver’s License Facilities
Department of Healthcare & Family Services
Department of Employment Security

This makes it clear that you can’t go to the DMV just to register.

(bolding mine)

Ah, that sure does change things. I’ll email them (if I can find a contact) to suggest that they add that line to the main “Register to Vote” page.

Of all the places to go, I am in shock that ANYBODY thought, “Gee, I think I will go down to the DMV and register because they are so quick and efficient!”

You would think anywhere but the DMV would have been a better option from the get go.

Eh, the DMV here isn’t really bad - did I mention the less-than-an-hour process during the just-got-off-work peak hour? If I have a babysitter during the day, I can be in and out in 15 minutes. And, since my license expires in a month anyway, I thought I’d kill two birds, y’know?

The other thing I noticed is that I couldn’t google up a good list of registration places. Seems like I was stumbling over them for the previous three months, and always went, “Oh, yeah, gotta do that when I have some proof of address on me!” (My license, in addition to imminent expiration, also had a previous address on it.) Then when I carried my lease around with me for the last two weeks: nothing. Couldn’t find a single one of the tables I’d been tripping over anywhere, and the Board of Elections website doesn’t seem to have a “Search for you nearest place to register” feature.

It depends. There is a DMV office in the pedway by my office; I literally don’t even have to go outside. I can dash down there during an off-peak hour and be in and out in 10 minutes.

It’s legit. The National Voter Reistration Act of 1993, affectionately known as “Motor Voter” provides for a few ways to make voter registration easier.

According to the US Department of Justice: Section 5 of the Act requires states to provide individuals with the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for a driver’s license or seek to renew a driver’s license, and requires the State to forward the completed application to the appropriate state of local election official.

So, if you’re at the DMV on driving-related business, they’re required to give you the opportunity to register. They are not obligated to let you register if you’re not there to get or update your license.